Arthur Laffer: Serial Liar

Comedian/faux economist Arthur Laffer, who has been wrong about everything since forever, is making shit up to Tennessee’s House-Senate Fiscal Review Committee, because he’s a serial liar and an asshole. That can be the only explanation forthis comment he made as he lobbied for a repeal of the state’s inheritance and estate tax:

At one point, in response to a question about the economic impact on the state of repealing the inheritance tax, Laffer said: “I spent about two hours with Fred Smith three days ago up in Memphis, and he said he’s gettin’ out of this state if it doesn’t happen.And now we don’t want to lose FedEx. Fred Smith’s a couple of classes behind me at Yale and he’s a good friend.”

Fred Smith responded today:

NASHVILLE — FedEx President, Chairman and CEO Fred Smith said today that economist Arthur Laffer must have misunderstood him last week in Memphis because Smith said he’s “never taken a position” on Tennessee’s estate tax and has no plans to leave Tennessee.

Jesus, Arthur Laffer is a fucking buffoon. If I were Fred Smith I’d clock him in his ear next time I saw him. You don’t just make shit up about people, especially not when you’re appearing in an official capacity like a state legislative committee. Mind you, this bit about Fred Smith came after Laffer dropped names like “Ronald Reagan” and “Howard Jarvis.” We’ve all had co-workers like him, self-promoters who tell stories about all the important people they hang with. Yeah, sure, and Fred Smith told you he’s not just going to leave the state over the inheritance tax, but thathe’s moving his entire company! This made sense to people? Seriously?

It’s almost funny, in a sad sort of way. Laffer’s ridiculous economic theory that lower taxes create more revenue has been debunked a thousand ways to Thursday, but how precious that he has to fabricate a story about a rich buddy to illustrate his cherished point: that removing a tax won’t hurt Tennessee revenues as much as keeping it does.

Laffer has less credibility than a two-headed quarter; only in Tennessee would anyone even give him the time of day. I’m sure he was thinking, “Well, somebody, somewhere is gonna leave the state over taxes! Might as well be Fred Smith! People have heard ofhim!”

Sure, because that’s the lie these assholes cling to, isn’t it? Corporations will leave America if we don’t cut their taxes! FedEx is leaving Tennessee …over the inheritance tax! Really? Where the hell would they go? Somalia? North Dakota?

God I am so sick of Republicans just making shit up. The incredible hubris it takes to think you can just make up a story and assume no one will bother to check on it, you just gotta wonder: is it intentional? After all, this story about Fred Smith went all over the news wires. I wonder how many of them will run a correction? The Commercial Appeal did – – they had to. Memphis is FedEx’s home town. Will the Wall Street Journal? Politico?

10 thoughts on “Arthur Laffer: Serial Liar

  1. Well, Laffer’s like Bill Kristol and a host of others: always horribly wrong, but going from success to success anyway. Yup, if you’re a rightie, “failing upward” IS a viable option…

  2. I always thought the Eephus pitch was more effective than the Laffer Curve.

  3. Laffer’s just another con artist, so it’s not surprising that Tennessee is his latest rube, eager to get fleeced in his latest economic version of three-card monte.
    Alas, it probably won’t make much difference that Laffer’s shill got cold feet and admitted to the crowd that he didn’t want to be the game’s insider.
    The Tennessee legislature’s already gone a long, long way to proving that it’s stupid. Now they’re letting everyone know how much.

  4. From the year after the implementation of Reagan’s first budget through the end of the Bush 41 Administration federal tax revenues grew by some 40%. And that includes inheriting the burdens of the weak economy and high inflation of the late 70s {not so much the fault of President Carter as the long-term impact of LBJ’s money printing in the 60s and two oil shocks}. That there is a marked increase in the deficit during the Reagan/Bush years has more to do with unchecked spending than declining tax revenues.
    We cannot just cut taxes and wait for economic growth. But we also cannot tax ourselves into prosperity.
    Also it is worth mentioning that a really good definition of sharecropping is when the lord of the manor takes more than half of anyone’s income. Once a society decides that some people must work more than half of their time for others, you might as well just put everyone on the federal payroll and let the state decide how much we all deserve to make.

  5. Laffer doesn’t give a shit. He’s rich and doesn’t have to work, and hasn’t worked in decades. He’s unaccountable. And that’s the problem with so many of the right wing, they don’t have to care, and lack the morality to wonder why they don’t.
    The only thing that would be fair would be to bankrupt Laffer, take away all of his stuff, and make him live in some shithole with a shithole job, and see how he likes getting buggered all the time. And then ignore him.

  6. Anybody who’s seen the investment Fred Smith has put into Memphis Airport (the FedEx side is over twice the size of the commercial terminal) knows what a ridiculous whopper this is.

  7. Yes Mark that’s because Reaganraised taxes — repeatedly. He raised business taxes, he added new excise taxes on tobacco and alcohol, he increased payroll taxes and his 1986 tax reform effectively raised taxes by closing loopholes. REAGAN RAISED TAXES. I know it doesn’t fit with the Republican myth about St. Ronnie but you guys can’t keep selectively picking and choosing which parts of Reagan’s legacy you’re gonna worship. Reagan raised taxes and guess what happens when you do that: you get revenue.
    This is why even Reagan’s budget director has said the current crop of Republicans have“made a mockery of traditional party ideals” and “crippled our economy.”
    Funny no one in the Tennessee state legislature wants to hear from David Stockman, though. No, they want to hear from Arthur Laffer: the guy who tells them what they want to hear, not the guy who tells them what they NEED to hear. Big fat babies, every single one of them, wanting the fairy tales not the truth. The only thing stupider than a Tennessee Republican is a Tennessee voter who elects these morons.

  8. “…not so much the fault of President Carter as the long-term impact of LBJ’s money printing in the 60s and two oil shocks}…”- Mark Rogers 4/17/12.
    Seems the Imperial Presidency of Richard Nixon(Gerald Ford in relief) has been excluded from this little economic history lesson.
    “The U.S. economy was in sad shape when Ford replaced the disgraced Richard M. Nixon to become the nation’s 38th president. Then it got worse. The economy fell into the steepest recession since World War II, coupled with an upward price spiral that was faster than at any time in modern memory.”
    Jeffrey H. Birnbaum
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Thursday, December 28, 2006

    one of these years it will work. rite? RITE?!?

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